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Food Inflation Arrives, Adding to the Woes of Ailing Restaurants

  • Some eateries are adding Covid-19 surcharges to menu prices
  • Once government support ends, ‘it’s over for most restaurants’
Ground beef exiting a grinder during production. 
Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Food inflation has arrived, according to newly released data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And that means slimmer profits for many already-ailing restaurants even as diners pay more for meals.

Full-service restaurant prices rose a record 0.9% in June from a month earlier. At the same time, home cooking grew costlier: Grocery prices rose 0.7% from the prior month and 5.6% from a year ago, the largest increase since 2011.